Every neighborhood has one: the Kool-Aid house. The one place where all the kids hang out, play, and laugh. Schools have them too, Kool-Aid classrooms, where kids congregate before or after school to chat with the teacher; the place to which graduates return.
Jill’s classroom was the Kool-Aid house of our school. Day after day, students stopped in to chat, surrounding her desk as she sat in her motorized scooter. Whenever I saw an All Saints graduate return for a visit, I knew exactly where they were heading: last door on the right, 5 North.
But it wasn’t just the classroom. Jill herself was a moving Kool-Aid house, a water cooler on wheels, the place where teachers would gather to laugh, complain, or comment on the latest news. If Jill was in the office, that’s where the teachers would hang out. If Jill motored outside to each lunch in the sunshine, that’s where the teachers ate lunch.
There are people in this world who, by the sheer force of their magnetic personality, draw people continually to them. Jill was such a force, and such a personality.
Where will we gather now that she is gone?
Jesus tells us:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.”
Jesus has come back to take Jill to the place he has prepared for her. There are dwelling places for each of us in heaven, and when I get there I know where everyone is going to be. They’ll be hanging out at the Kool-Aid house. They’ll all be at Jill’s place.